“Hey Lucy?” Joanna asked.
“Oh hi Jo.” The brunette replied smiling. “We’ve made our final decision and you’ve made it.”
“Excuse me?” Joanna asked.
“You’re on the squad!” Lucy replied. “First practice is Monday after school. “See you then.” And she left.
“I’m on the squad?” Joanna whispered. “Yes!” she punched the air as Rick walked in.
She ran over and hugged him. “I did it! I made the squad!”
He smiled. “That’s great.”
He seemed slightly sad, but I was too proud to realise. We walked home and he turned the conversation round to Benji. I’m ashamed to say that I blushed.
“So do you like him?” Rick asked lightly, not looking at her.
“I don’t know him,” she replied. “How could I like him?”
He scuffed the pavement as he walked. “Fine. Are you attracted to him?”
“No.” But she didn’t sound to sure.
“You do know the only reason he’s coming on to you is because there’s no-one else that he hasn’t tried it on with,” Rick told her churlishly.
“We were just talking!” she protested. “And do you have a grudge against him or something?” Rick muttered something that she couldn’t quite hear. “What?”
“He hurt Will,” he told her, his eyes blazing. “Really bad.
“Ho-“ she began but he cut her off.
“Can’t tell you. It’s up to Will.” He said quietly. “I just don’t want you to get hurt, that’s all.”
“OK,” she replied, equally quiet. “But I’ve got to make my own judgements on people Rick, you know that.”
He nodded, looking at the floor. Then he entwined his slim fingers with hers. “Just promise you’ll never forget us.” He was looking straight in to her eyes now, his eyes full of emotion. “Promise.”
I promise,” she whispered.
He smiled bleakly at her, let go of her hand and looked away. “You’re too cool to become another Barbie cheerleader.”
She laughed. “I won’t. Frills don’t suit me. Neither does blonde hair.”
I contemplated calling Will to find out about this history between him and Benji but that line of thought was forgotten about when Mom called me saying that there was a boy at the door asking for me.
“Who is it?” she yelled but there was no answer. She sighed and thundered down the stairs, to find Mikey standing awkwardly at the front door. She smiled as finally reached him. “Hey. If you want help with the music homework, please don’t ask me, cause I’m stuck on it myself.”
He shook his head. “Nah, I’ve brought the Black Flag tape?” He offered it to her and she took it, slipping it into her pocket. She peered behind him.
“Can who ever brought you hold on for a bit so you can find out whether I have any music you wanna borrow?”
“I’ll go check. One sec.” He ran back down the path and bent over talking to the person in the front seat. She leant against the doorframe, watching him.
“Who is it honey?” her Mom called.
“It’s Mikey,” Joanna replied, still watching him, her arms folded.
“Oh. One of the rockers.” Her mother muttered.
“Yeah, I can stay for a bit, “ Mikey announced.
“Cool,” Joanna grinned. “My room’s upstairs. First on the right. ‘Scuse the mess. I’ll be up in a minute. Gotta got tell Mom sommot.” He headed up the stairs as Joanna went to speak to her mom.
“Mom. Mikey’s staying for a bit,” and with that short statement she tried to hurry out of the kitchen.
“Hold it!” her Mom ordered, drying her hands on a tea towel. “You and that boy are going to be in you room. Alone. Together.”
”We can’t be alone together,” Joanna pointed out immediately.
“Don’t get smart Joanna. You know exactly what I mean,” her mom replied icily. “I’m not having you in a bedroom with him.”
“I’ll leave the door open,” Joanna promised hopefully. “Please Mom? He’s my friend.”
“Okay,” Mrs Wilkinson relented. “But it’s not to become a regular thing, you hear me?”
“Yes Mom,” Joanna sighed as she ran up the stairs.
My room was midnight blue at that point, I remember begging for it. And then I went and stuck posters all over the walls. Queen, The Clash, Sex Pistols, oh and some sports people. I’d got a shelf with books on, mainly comic books that were random imports from Japan and America. Well, they’d been imports when I bought them. Now they were back in their hometown. And then there was the huge shelf with my tapes and CDs. Mikey was looking at these when I walked in.
He jumped. “Oh hey. You’re room’s cool,” he told her, pushing his glasses up his nose.
She shrugged. “It’s alright. I really want to get a fibre optic light though? Put it by the bean bag.”
Mikey nodded, facing her fully. “So do you want help with the music?”
She grinned. “I thought you’d never ask.”
That was the first of many times when Mikey would help me with my music. I wasn’t too hot at theory. Even though I played piano I’d never learnt theory. I loved playing. It was just…amazing. The fact that I, Joanna Wilkinson, could make beauty out of nothing…it fascinated me.